Turning forty gave me the opportunity to reflect on my life. I nodded, declared it good, and dyed my hair red.

Birthdays are good opportunities to take stock and act, if necessary.

But, you know, other opportunities arise as well to do that stock taking.

Like, for instance, the words melanoma and cancerous which were spoken to me last Thursday. Also, the sentence repeated several times, "We got it all" ironically closely associated with the phrase, "more surgery as a preventative".

They gave me a book to make me feel better about it which had phrases in it like "quality of life" and "five years", which was supposed to make me feel better, I suppose. But it didn't. Maybe I should do a rewrite for them? Hmmm. That's an idea.

And probably if I hadn't had trouble reading the notes on a music sheet the night before without the dreaded "cheaters" this enlightening conversation with the doctor, I wouldn't have been thinking so much of words like old or young (as in I'm too young for this).

Or the phrase And so it begins. The beginning of the downhill slope toward death where little pieces of me are cut away and sent to Cincinnati where it is determined is it okay or is it the C word.

Am I okay with dying? Sure.

Am I okay with dying right now? Well, no. I've still got some stuff I want to do, people I want to hang out with and meet, places to go. You get the idea.

So, one day when the answer comes back from Cincinnati I might decide differently, but right now. I will have the margins cut on as a preventative. I will let the doctor do a "full body". I will get a full length mirror and bring it home to check for changes in my skin. I will try to find a sunscreen which smells like something other than sunscreen.

And I will not let that jerk who cut me off at the intersection steal my joy. Or seethe in fury because the surgeon still has eleven patients to see ahead of me and my appointment is in five minutes. Will I stay in the crowded waiting room? Not today. But I will make another appointment for another day when I can be first in line. I will smile when I request the other appointment. I will be nice and sweet. After all, maybe they just worked me in. Maybe they worked those 11 people in. Maybe the doctor had to cut on someone unexpectedly so the log is backed up. It matters not. Not really.

Because, you know, we really do only get this one life. And I plan on having fun, being useful, and loving the hell out of it until it's only a gooey mass of sweet goodness (non-fattening, of course, but delectable).